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North Shore Towers Goes Smoke-Free

Little Neck

Jan. 5, 2017

As any co-op board member will tell you, implementing a smoking ban is one tough challenge. Many boards have gone the “grandfather” route, allowing smokers to keep puffing but selling apartments only to non-smokers, on the assumption that over time the building will become smoke-free.

Such gradualism is not in the playbook at North Shore Towers and Country Club in Queens, near the Nassau County line.

At this massive, 1,844-unit co-op, consisting of three 33-story buildings on 110 acres, the last cigarettes and cigars were stubbed out by the time the ball fell at Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Following an aggressive campaign run by 50 volunteers, with the backing of Northwell Health and Smoke-Free NYC, 88 percent of the shareholders voted on the proposal to ban smoking anywhere inside the three towers. In the end, 72 percent of all shareholders voted in favor of a smoking ban, well in excess of the required two-thirds “super-majority” – making it the largest co-op in the city to go smoke-free.

“By establishing a smoke-free environment, North Shore Towers’ residents have created one of the healthiest places to live in Queens,” says Nancy Copperman of Northwell Health, the health care system that advised the board and gave a presentation to shareholders on the benefits of a smoke-free environment and the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Leading the volunteers was board member Phyllis Goldstein, who said after the vote, “When a board of directors works cooperatively and in the best interest of the community, it can accomplish miracles.

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